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circled her silently like wolves. Despairingly, sitting alone
or when people talked among themselves and did not look at
her, she would press her ringers to her eyes, and her vision
would become a velvety and bottomless inward well of black-
ness on the sweet verge of which she seemed to be poised.

Her strength was not like Edmund Tolliver's strength and
appetite, and her beauty was insubstantial. For several years,
whenever he caught, and more rarely as the years went by,
that moment of beauty, he would experience again that sense
of gratitude and dedication, and sometimes would lay his
head on her bosom. But later, when such moments occurred,
they would stab him as with a knife; first remorse and pity
for her, then pity for himself and an indefinable sense of
betrayal and frustration. He would rush out of her presence,
without a word. The sharp and full remembrance of the
night when he had asked her to marry him and she had
drawn down his head, even the clean smell of the cloth of her
dress and of her flesh, would possess him. Beneath the cloth
of her dress her breast was so small, he had thought, scarcely
womanly at all, so suggestive of innocence and frailty, that
he had seemed that night to discover a perfect and final
truth; and his very soul had stood still within him. Pausing
in the hall outside her door, he would remember these things,
and strike his right fist heavily into the palm of his left hand,
time and time again, with the retarded and mechanical regu-
larity of a pendulum. His anguish was like that of a damned
man who has once been granted the clear, cool vision of
paradise, or that of a drowning man who sees how clearly,
how lovingly the bright sunshine defines all familiar and
comfortable objects on the bank where once he has walked.

After the death of old Morton Palmer, Edmund Tolliver
sold his rather modest house and moved from Louisville to
the southern part of the state. He did not return to the exact
locality where his father had lived. The painful recollections
of Ms early youth forbade that. He did not want to hear
circiy day the names he had heard in his youth, or to see
the same crossroads and houses. So he bought a farm in an